capacitor preference

Frequently asked questions on capacitor types, ratings, brands, use and abuse.

capacitor preference

Postby lordraptor1 » 15 Aug 2013, 11:21

kinda curious with the various types ( electrolytic, disk, etc) which type of caps does everyone prefer? also why do you prefer it? does using a different type have a benefit over another? anyway, reason I ask is I performed a little surgery on an OLD computer monitor to see what parts I could obtain (still have to check resistors) anyway I found this white box looking thing in an area labeled "c" on board designating capacitor and both of them are .047uf ( actually I thought it was an odd little m meaning micro farad but what do I know LOL). anyway, I got 2 of these "caps" one has a manufacture date of 11/87 the other 3/89 (told you it was an old monitor LOL) so could this type be used? would it have a different tonal effect of say electrolytic, tropical fish, disk, film, etc type caps?


just curious as to preference, I know I have seen a couple people on other forums that are big into the "tropical fish" caps.
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Re: capacitor preference

Postby FiveseveN » 15 Aug 2013, 12:22

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. (Charles Darwin)
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Re: capacitor preference

Postby Nocentelli » 15 Aug 2013, 13:46

Haha!

If you've read even 1% of the that debate surrounding capacitor choices, you'll have realised opinion is rife, and facts are few.

Here are the important facts:

1. If it's a large value (e.g. generally above 1uF), you'll probably need to use polarised elctrolytics. The schematic or layout will probably direct you in this case.

2. Ceramic caps *can* be microphonic, more noticeably when in the signal path/in a high gain circuit.

3. It's far easier and quicker to use caps with the appropriate leg spacing for a particular layout, rather then have to bend+stretch legs sideways to fit a wide stretch.

4. Electro's are *generally* smaller that box caps for anything above 470n or so

5. Ceramics *generally* span 2 vero/pcb spacing of 0.1 inch/2.54mm, which is sort of standard. Box caps are generally 3 holes (5mm) or sometimes 2, electro's usually 2, sometimes 3 if the are radial, but axial have much wider spacings since the legs protrude from opposite ends.
Tropical fish are something like 4 or 5: I inherited some, but would never buy them.
I have a stock of cermatic up to 10n, box from 2n to 1uF (1000n), tiny multilayer ceramic for 1uF only (much smaller than electro or box for this common value)
Electro's for 1uF and above.

6. It is not clear whether people can actually hear much/any difference between caps of the same value, even if they have measureable differences in signal transfer-affecting characteristics.

I say buy the type of caps that suits you wallet, the particular layout you're using or devising, and perhaps aesthetic considerations. Other people's online judgements about "what sounds best" should be the last thing to consider.
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Re: capacitor preference

Postby D-Day » 15 Aug 2013, 16:12

I like the blue ones! But lately I've given serious thought to jumping on the red capacitor bandwagon. They look like so much fun!
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Re: capacitor preference

Postby lordraptor1 » 16 Aug 2013, 03:42

Nocentelli wrote:Haha!

If you've read even 1% of the that debate surrounding capacitor choices, you'll have realised opinion is rife, and facts are few.

Here are the important facts:

1. If it's a large value (e.g. generally above 1uF), you'll probably need to use polarised elctrolytics. The schematic or layout will probably direct you in this case.

2. Ceramic caps *can* be microphonic, more noticeably when in the signal path/in a high gain circuit.

3. It's far easier and quicker to use caps with the appropriate leg spacing for a particular layout, rather then have to bend+stretch legs sideways to fit a wide stretch.

4. Electro's are *generally* smaller that box caps for anything above 470n or so

5. Ceramics *generally* span 2 vero/pcb spacing of 0.1 inch/2.54mm, which is sort of standard. Box caps are generally 3 holes (5mm) or sometimes 2, electro's usually 2, sometimes 3 if the are radial, but axial have much wider spacings since the legs protrude from opposite ends.
Tropical fish are something like 4 or 5: I inherited some, but would never buy them.
I have a stock of cermatic up to 10n, box from 2n to 1uF (1000n), tiny multilayer ceramic for 1uF only (much smaller than electro or box for this common value)
Electro's for 1uF and above.

6. It is not clear whether people can actually hear much/any difference between caps of the same value, even if they have measureable differences in signal transfer-affecting characteristics.

I say buy the type of caps that suits you wallet, the particular layout you're using or devising, and perhaps aesthetic considerations. Other people's online judgements about "what sounds best" should be the last thing to consider.



thanks this is the info I was looking for, personally I have been trying to track down a .056 cap unfortunately none of the junk electronics I have performed surgery on has yet to yield one. I know they can be bought but when you are working on a budget of $0.00 USD you gotta get what you can get which I still have 3 or 4 old computer monitors to disassemble but that's all I have left I have even already went through all the vcr's, cd players, etc. that have been given to me and still nada in terms of a .056 cap ( 563 disk type or otherwise), did manage a few in4148 diodes though and I expect a few more from the other old monitors.

thanks again I really didn't think there was any difference in caps contributing to sound ( at least nothing the human ear can detect unless you have a bionic ear LOL), just curious as to general rules of thumb or consenses and personal preferences :D
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Re: capacitor preference

Postby lordraptor1 » 16 Aug 2013, 03:44

D-Day wrote:I like the blue ones! But lately I've given serious thought to jumping on the red capacitor bandwagon. They look like so much fun!


well with your avatar pic I would have guessed you liked the green ones :lol:
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Re: capacitor preference

Postby Nocentelli » 16 Aug 2013, 06:54

What cicuit is the 56n for? A 47n would probably work ok in most spots, you must have one of them.
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Re: capacitor preference

Postby lordraptor1 » 16 Aug 2013, 09:24

Nocentelli wrote:What cicuit is the 56n for? A 47n would probably work ok in most spots, you must have one of them.


it was for a circuit i was trying to work out based things i liked from various schematics on home-wrecker. basically just trying to Frankenstein a pedal using current available schematics as a starting point for example trying to use current schematics and a little research and a lot of questions to try and design a bass fuzz/envelope filter hybrid ( yeah i know im crazy :mrgreen: )

as far as having a 47n? yeah i got some but the bass fuzz v3 which i wanted to try the circuit calls for a .056 and a .047 capacitor :wink:
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